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  1. Ford didn't help matters by letting the car go too long without a complete makeover. People who fork over money for the top-of-the-line (and more profitable) models expect fresh sheet metal. They don't want a car that looks like the one their neighbor bought five years ago.
  2. grbeck

    Ford vs Ferrari trailer

    Henry Ford II personally fired Harry Bennett - who wasn't a shrinking violet himself, and no stranger to violence - because he felt that history would judge him a coward if he delegated the job to an underling. I seriously doubt that he was intimidated by a ride in a fast car.
  3. grbeck

    2020 Ford Explorer

    For what it's worth, vendors are already selling some brochures from the early 2000s at Carlisle and Hershey.
  4. grbeck

    2020 Ford Explorer

    I was surprised that the local Ford dealer has brochures for the new Ranger. I just picked up a brochure this weekend. Honda has brochures, but not for individual vehicles. They have one brochure for minivans/crossovers/Ridgeline, and one for all passenger cars.
  5. California only has a surplus if one ignores the state's massive pension obligations, which are not getting smaller: http://www.newgeography.com/content/006159-california-doesn-t-have-a-budget-surplus When pension obligations are taken into account, Kansas outranks California for fiscal integrity. And a large reason for California's surplus is a healthy stock market. California's state income tax is very heavily dependent on top earners in general, and income from stock dividends and capital gains (including capital gains generated by the sale of homes), in particular. https://californiapolicycenter.org/californias-budget-surplus-ignores-crushing-debt-burden/ To illustrate just how unusually swollen California’s current state tax revenues have gotten, compare state tax collections in FYE 6/30/2017 (our most recent available data) to seven years earlier, in 2010. Back in 2010, California was in the grip of the great recession. Total state tax revenue was $94 billion, and $44 billion of that was from personal income taxes. Skip to FYE 6/30/2017, and total state tax revenue was $148 billion, and $86 billion was from personal income taxes. This means that 80 percent of the increase in state tax revenue over the seven years through 6/30/2017 was represented by the increase is collections from individual taxpayers, which doubled. It isn’t hard to figure out why this happened. Between 2010 and 2017 the tech heavy NASDAQ tripled in value, from 2,092 to 6,153. In that same period, Silicon Valley’s big three tech stocks all quadrupled. Adjusting for splits, Apple shares went from $35 to $144, Facebook opened in May 2012 at $38, and went up to $150, Google moved from $216 to $908. While California’s tech industry was booming over the past decade, California real estate boomed in parallel. In June 2010 the median home price in California was $335,000; by June 2017 it had jumped to $502,000. Along the California coast, median home prices have gone much higher. Santa Clara County now has a median home price of $1.3 million, double what it was less than a decade ago. As people sell their overpriced homes to move inland or out-of-state, and as tech workers cash out their burgeoning stock options, hundreds of billions of capital gains generate tens of billions in state tax revenue. But can homes continue to double in value every six or seven years? Can tech stocks continue to quadruple in value every six or seven years? Apparently Gavin Newsom thinks they can. Reality may beg to differ.
  6. For the record, I'm all for California being able to determine its own policy in these areas. (Although, if I lived there, I'd be more concerned about rampant human waste on the sidewalks of various urban areas, and the spread of diseases such as typhus from massive homeless encampments.) But let's not pretend that such policies don't result in some serious side effects (such as much higher costs for people, particularly the poor). Said side effects are valid reasons for other states and jurisdictions to tread carefully before adopting them, or some variation of them.
  7. California has "solved" the electrical generation conundrum by simply outsourcing a large portion of it to other states, many of which still use coal and other fossil fuels as power sources: https://www.forbes.com/sites/judeclemente/2016/04/03/californias-growing-imported-electricity-problem/#1b362d954469 It also has some of the highest utility rates in the nation, which has helped raise its poverty rate - when adjusted for the cost of living - to the highest in the nation. https://www.politifact.com/california/statements/2017/jan/20/chad-mayes/true-california-has-nations-highest-poverty-rate-w/
  8. Government regulation at that time reacted to technological change. It did not anticipate it. The bottom line is that, during that era, clean streets and sanitation efforts were made possible by the adoption of the automobile, and the wealth generated by the automobile industry and other industries. As for China's leadership in electric vehicles - those vehicles are charged with electricity largely generated by fossil fuels (including coal, which is being displaced by much cleaner natural gas in the U.S.). Their overall impact on the environment therefore may not be that beneficial: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/in-coal-powered-china-electric-car-surge-fuels-fear-of-worsening-smog/?redirect=1
  9. It doesn't dispute anything I've posted. Note this: The car emerged with an orchestrated push by the auto industry, and its reign was paved by a rising demand for gasoline and government investment in highways, roads, and zoning regulations. Similarly it was a democratic drive, with legislation to follow, that gave us sanitation laws and cleaned up our streets. It was the widespread adoption of the automobile, and the concurrent virtual elimination of horse-drawn vehicles, that made possible those sanitation laws and clean streets. Not to mention the greater wealth generated by the rise of the automobile industry, and associated industries. Sewer systems and paved roads cost money. That money has to come from somewhere, and that "somewhere" is wealth generated by economic activity. Then there is this: The march of progress also depends on social engineering as much as technological change: It's the technological change that makes the social engineering possible.
  10. Not true. Dust from horse droppings was a major problem in cities (it also attracted disease-carrying insects), and runoff from horse manure and urine was polluting streams and rivers. It was said at that time that a person could smell New York City before he or she could see it. Plus, horses were regularly dropping dead in the streets from pulling heavy loads in the summer months (and the disposal of horse carcasses was a major problem). That is why animal welfare organizations of the time applauded the adoption of cars and trucks. When it's my money, yes, you need to offer me something superior to buy. Shrieks of gloom and doom are not sufficient. The world has been coming to an end for one reason or another since my high school days. It's your responsibility to offer me something better, if the world really is coming to an end. Otherwise, I prefer my to fulfill my weekly need for histrionics by watching The Bachelor/Bachelorette.
  11. When vehicles powered by alternative powerplants are superior to current vehicles, people will happily buy them. Henry Ford I didn't push for a ban on horse-drawn wagons to get people to buy Model Ts.
  12. To the average customer, that is a distinction without a difference. They are based on the same platform. At the end of the day, what matters to paying customers (95+ percent of whom do not follow automotive blogs or websites) is that Corsair looks and feels different than the Escape. It looks very different from an Escape, and I'm sure that its "feel" is different, too.
  13. Autoblog is technically correct...but customers don't care, as long as their friends and co-workers can't see the resemblance. Lincoln has nothing to worry about on that score with this crossover. The new Cadillac CT5 is built on a Cadillac-exclusive platform, and does not look particularly distinctive or even luxurious. An exclusive platform is not a panacea.
  14. grbeck

    GM Unveils Mid-engine Vette....Sort of

    This will be interesting...the Corvette offers terrific performance, but some of the interior trim comes off as chintzy. But the price (compared to many rivals) and performance made that easier to accept. If GM moves the Corvette up dramatically in price, there could be considerable resistance, as there has been with the some Cadillacs.